Tomorrow’s Donald Trump rally in Georgia highlights the messy state of Georgia’s Republican U.S. Senate primary, where Trump has meddled and pushed Herschel Walker into the race against the wishes of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
Ahead of Trump’s Saturday visit, McConnell this week sought to repair the public perception that he is opposed to Walker’s candidacy.
But no number of “I think there’s every indication he’s going to be a good candidate” assurances from McConnell can erase the repeated efforts that McConnell and his allies made to keep Walker from running:
- In late July, there was significant speculation that McConnell and his allies were actively pitching opposition research to try to damage Walker and discourage him from running.
- By the end of July, those rumors were effectively confirmed, when Politico quoted McConnell allies John Cornyn and John Thune as effectively saying that Walker should not run.
- In early August, McConnell’s anti-Walker advocacy and escalating desperation were fully laid bare, as CNN reported that “McConnell, who has privately expressed his deep concerns with Walker’s potential candidacy,” had “suggested to allies that former Georgia senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler should take another look at running again.”
Even as McConnell now claims he’s “warmed” to Walker, Georgia and national Republicans still have to reckon with “concerns” about Walker and a crowded primary field — featuring the likes of Gary Black, who’s charged Walker with hiding in “the basement” and argued, via a campaign spokesperson, that “there is a problem with Herschel that his team does not want us to know about.”
Tomorrow, Trump may not throw bombs at Walker’s GOP primary competitors — or other certain Georgia Republicans — but his presence alone will underscore the deeply chaotic and divisive nature of Republicans’ Georgia U.S. Senate primary.